Lara Croft: 25 years of Tomb Raider and a British gaming icon

Lara Croft: 25 years of Tomb Raider and a British gaming icon

12/7/2021 3:44:00 AM

Lara Croft: 25 years of Tomb Raider and a British gaming icon

The team behind Lara Croft talk to Newsbeat about her history and where she goes next.

One of gaming's most celebrated icons, Lara Croft, has just turned 25 years old.Independent, strong and fearless, Lara Croft forged an unforgettable path through 90s gaming - making the leap from niche character to pop culture superstar and becoming one of the most instantly recognisable characters of all time.

Over the two and a half decades we've known her, Lara has changed considerably - both physically and emotionally.But regardless of what you thought about her improbable physique back in her early days, Lara's an enduring British gaming icon who is seemingly here to stay.

Making Lara more relatable"She was iconic from the jump because we hadn't seen a lot of female heroes in video games," explains Dallas Dickinson, who works at Crystal Dynamics as the franchise executive producer for Tomb Raider.Image source, headtopics.com

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Image caption,The Tomb Raider franchise has sold more than 85 million copies across 20 titles"She happened to be right there at the forefront of when 3D graphics came in," he says."It was like: holy cow - you can do this, a fully realised character!"

The original movies - starring Angelina Jolie - propelled Lara into greater public consciousness. But Dallas thinks it's the series' latter efforts to create an "origin" story for Croft that has made her so much more accessible to so many more people.

The franchise's latest three games - Tomb Raider, Rise of the Tomb Raider, and Shadow of the Tomb Raider, released in 2013, 2015, and 2018 respectively - explore the adventures of a younger, less experienced Lara."What was done with the 2013 Tomb Raider game was really meaningful," Dallas explains. "It gave her a little bit more of this grounded, more relatable sense to her.

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"The superhero version may not have been as accessible to certain people and so when she became more real - with that persistence at her core - I think she resonated with an entirely new generation of gamers."Image source,Image caption,Concept art of Lara Croft from 1996 headtopics.com

Originally developed by Core Design and published by Eidos, the original games released in the 1990s made Lara Croft a household name across the world.Across the 25 years, the Tomb Raider games alone have sold over 85 million copies worldwide.Cool acrobatics

The consequence of that, however, is having to satisfy two or three generations of fans, each of which has "grown-up" with a slightly different kind of Lara Croft.So how does Crystal Dynamics - the series' current caretaker and developer - balance the wishes of new fans with those that have been supporting Lara since the beginning?

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"That is the challenge," Dallas says. "The mantra that we have is that all of Lara's stories are true."In the timeline of Lara's life, the 'Survivor Series' - which is what we loosely refer to as the last three games - is sort of this origin story period, which her previous adventures had not touched on as much.

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Yeah she has big tits, but don't hate her for that, she can't help genetics... I'd say my love for Assassin's Creed is largely because of Lara, especially earlier games in the franchise had tomb raiding, looking for seals in iconic Renaissance sites. I'm a bit of a fan of history and Indiana Jones, puzzle games, archeology, adventure, so Lara Croft ticked a lot of boxes, I was a big fan, not as big as my friend though, he was borderline obsessed.

Yep, Lara Croft was blazing a trail for feminists before it was cool. Cone tits in the first ones. Great games I played hours on end. UNHCR_Thailand_Wake up. 8 years we have been waiting for your help to get resettled Wicked graphics. Loved that they featured her best features. So many girls have learned from Laura's games. Equality in video games

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